The Glossary of Tea!

The following are terms, words, and explainations of concepts you need to understand and know about the word 'Tea'.

Agony of the leaves An expression describing the relaxation of curled leaves during steeping.
Anhui A major black tea producing region of China.
Aroma The characteristic fragrance of brewed tea, imparted by its essential oils.
Assam A type of tea grown in the state of Assam, India, known for its strong, deep red brewed color.
Astringent A term describing the dry taste in the mouth left by teas high in unoxidized polyphenols.
Autumnal A term describing tea harvested late in the growing season.
Bakey A term describing overfired teas
Bergamot The essential oil of the bergamot orange, which is mixed with black tea to give Earl Grey tea its characteristic flavor.
Billy An Australian term describing a tin pot used for boiling tea over an open fire.
Biscuity A term describing tea that has been well fired, often associated with Assam teas.
Black tea Green tea leaves that have been oxidized, or fermented, imparting a characteristic reddish brew. The most common type of tea worldwide.
Blend A combination of different types of teas for flavor consistency from season to season.
Bloom A term describing the sheen of the tea leaf.
Body A term describing the sense of fullness that the brewed tea imparts.
Bold A term describing large leaf cut tea.
Brassy A term describing an unpleasant acidic taste, associated with improper withering of the tea leaves.
Break An auction term describing a tea lot for sale, usually at least 18 chests.
Brick tea Tea leaves that have been steamed and compressed into bricks; the bricks are then shaved and brewed with butter and salt and served as a soup.
Bright A term describing a light-colored leaf or its resulting bright red brew.
Brisk A term describing a tea that is very astringent; also a Lipton trademark.
Broken A term describing tea leaves that have been processed through a cutter, reducing leaf size.
Caffeine A stimulating compound found in tea.
Cambric tea A weak tea infusion with large proportions of milk and sugar.
Catechins A class of polyphenol found in high concentrations in green tea, and lower and varied concentrations in black teas.
Ceylon Teas from Sri Lanka.
Cha Romanized spelling of the Chinese and Japanese characters for tea.
Chai Indian term for tea, often short for masala chai, or spiced tea, which is made from strong black tea combined with milk, sugar, and spices.
Chest A traditional container for shipping tea from the plantation typically made of wood with an aluminum lining.
Chesty A term describing tea that has taken on the undesirable smell or taste of the wooden chest in which it was shipped.
Chunmee A grade of curled Chinese tea.
Congou A general term for Chinese black tea, derived from gongfu, defined below.
Coppery A term describing a reddish infusion, associated with black teas of high quality.
CTC An acronym for Crush, Tear, and Curl, a manufacturing process to create tea leaves that impart a stronger infusion.
Darjeeling Tea grown in the Darjeeling region of India, near the Himalayas. Darjeeling teas are usually highly astringent.
Dhool A term describing the coppery, fermenting tea leaf.
Dust The smallest grade of tea, often used in tea bags because it creates a quick infusion.
Earl Grey Black tea scented with bergamot, defined above.
Fannings Leaf particles that have been sifted out of high quality teas.
Fermentation The process of oxidizing green tea leaves to make black and oolong teas.
Fibrous A term describing teas that contain a high percentage of fannings.
Firing The process of rapidly heating the tea leaves, with hot air or in a wok, to stop fermentation and dry the leaves for a finished product.
Flat A term describing teas that lack astringency.
Flowery A grading term that indicates leaves with light-colored tips.
Flush The freshly-picked tea leaves, including the bud and the top two leaves of the tea plant.
Formosa Tea produced in Taiwan; primarily Oolong teas
Full A term describing a strong, vibrant tea infusion.
Genmaicha Green tea with toasted rice.
Golden A term describing the orange-colored tips on high quality tea leaves.
Gong fu A Chinese term meaning performed with care; describes a style of brewing that involves many repeated short infusions in a small pot.
Grainy A term describing high quality CTC teas.
Green Unfermented, dried tea, traditionally found primarily in China and Japan, but becoming increasing popular in the West due to purported health benefits.
Gunpowder Green tea that has been rolled into pellets, which unfurl in hot water to brew.
Gyokuro A Japanese term meaning pearl dew, referring to green tea produced from shaded plants.
Hard A term describing pungent tea, often positively associated with Assam teas.
Harsh A term describing bitter teas.
Heavy A term describing a full, deep-colored infusion without astringency.
Hyson A Chinese term meaning flourishing spring associated with green teas, and a brand of tea popular in the eighteenth century.
Iced Tea Tea brewed and served chilled
Jasmine Black Pouchong tea scented with jasmine flowers.
Keemun Black tea from central China, typically hand-rolled and fired.
Lapsang souchong A Chinese black tea that is fired over a pinewood fire for a characteristically smoky aroma and flavor.
Light A term describing tea that produces a weak infusion.
Malty A term describing slightly over-fired tea, sometimes desirable.
Metallic A term describing the dry taste of some teas.
Muddy A term describing a dull, brownish infusion
Nose A synonym for aroma, defined above.
Oolong A lightly fermented style of tea, typically using larger leaf grades.
Orange pekoe A grade of large, whole leaf tea; does not describe flavor.
Orthodox A processing method that imitates the larger leaf styles of hand-produced teas.
Pan-fired A term describing that has been fired in a wok.
Pekoe A grade of small, whole leaf tea, from the Chinese term baihao, which refers to the white hairs of the new buds on the tea plant.
Plain A term describing a dull, sour infusion.
Plucking The process of harvesting the tea by cutting the flush from the growing tea plant.
Polyphenols Astringent compounds found in tea.
Pu erh A type of black tea that has been microbiologically fermented, associated with the Yunnan province of China.
Pungent A term describing highly astringent tea.
Raw A term describing bitter tea.
Rolling The process of crushing the leaves to activate certain enzymes and initiate fermentation; also results in the curled appearance of the final tea leaf.
Self-drinking A term describing full-bodied tea that does not need to be blended.
Smoky A term describing teas fired over an open fire, resulting in exposure to wood smoke.
Soft A term describing under fermented tea.
Souchong Large leaf teas harvested from the third and fourth leaf of the tea plant.
Stalk A term describing teas that contain pieces of stalk from poor plucking.
Tannin A misleading term referring to tea polyphenols, which are different than the tannic acid polyphenols associated with other plants such as grapes.
Tarry Another term describing smoky teas, defined above.
Tat A wire mesh or burlap apparatus used to lay the leaves out for withering and fermentation
Theaflavins Orange-red potyphenols unique to fermented black teas, and a compound formed from catechins.
Theanine An amino acid unique to tea.
Theine A synonym for caffeine.
Ti kuan yin Meaning iron goddess of mercy, an especially dark and fragrant type of Oolong tea.
Tippy A term describing high quality teas differentiated by the white or golden tips of the leaves.
Tisane Herbal tea, that is teas produced from the leaves of plants other than the tea plant.
Tuocha A type of brick tea using pu erh tea pressed into a bowl-shaped brick.
Twist See Rolling.
Two and a bud A term describing the part of the tea plant that is typically harvested, that is, the top two leaves and the bud. See also Flush.
White A type of very light green tea; the term refers to the white hairs on the picked tea bud.
Winey A term describing aged, mellow teas, as with some Keemun teas.
Withering The process of allowing the fresh leaves to dry after plucking, before fermentation.
Woody A term describing an unpleasant hay taste in black tea.
Yixing Pronounced ee-hsing, a region in China known for its purple clay, and the unglazed teapots produced from it.
Yunnan Spicy tea grown in the Yunnan province, in the southwest of China.
Source: Tea Glossary.,2000.